I arrived in Barcelona in the afternoon. This was my third time in Barcelona in the last 4 years. I love this city.
I got to my hostel with no issues and the friendly staff checked me in. She then proceeded to tell me that free dinner would be ready in about 45 minutes, then there will be a class on how to make real Cuban mojitos, and then after that they are all going out to the bars. Awesome!
So I went upstairs to my room, took a shower, and then ate the dinner they provided. I put some money in the tip jar since that is the only money they use to make the dinner.
After the dinner one of the guys that works at the hostel showed us how to make real Cuban mojitos.
After our class was over everyone got ready to go to the bars. I really didn’t feel like going out so I stayed in that night and decided to sleep instead.
I woke up the next morning without any idea what I was going to do that day. One of my friends that I met in Paris sent me a message to see if I wanted to do a walking tour… of course I want to do a walking tour!
So I quickly got ready, got on the metro, and showed up a few minutes late, but I still made it on to the tour. It was a tour of Gaudi’s work. We walked around Barcelona and looked at some of Gaudi’s masterpieces. I really enjoyed the tour and have held an appreciate for Gaudi’s unique style ever since I saw his work in Barcelona for the first time a few years back.
During the tour, the two Aussies we met in Paris messaged us as well to see what we were up to. We all decided to go grab lunch together. We met at the beach and then went and got burgers at a place simply called ‘Bro’.
Yes, it is as delicious as it looks.
We then headed back to the beach and laid out for awhile. Some guys were selling sangria and mojitos on the beach… I’m pretty sure thats illegal to do since one of them got a ticket from the police while we were sitting there. But a sangria on the beach in Barcelona sounded nice… so we got some!
I’m pretty sure there was no alcohol in them. What a scam haha
I was getting hot so I went for a swim after awhile and then we all just hung out for a good hour or two relaxing on the beach. We all got along well and were laughing the entire time.
We decided to go back and get ready before going out that night. I took a shower and then went to meet them for dinner at a tapas restaurant.
We got to the restaurant and it was a long wait so we decided to go eat elsewhere. I had paella and tapas. So delicious!
While we were at dinner a beggar came up and put a piece of paper down on the table, which said something along the lines of “please give me money.” We told him no and he started lifting up the paper to leave. That’s when I noticed he was trying to grab one of the girls’ phones that she set on the table. I looked right at him when I saw it and he knew he was caught. I looked right at him and told him to leave and my friends had no idea what just happened.
I’ve known many people that have been robbed by a pickpocket, but I’d never heard of this technique before. Right in front of your eyes! It was crazy.
We were going to go out after dinner, but since the metro closes at 12 and opens back up at 5 we decided against it and we went back to our hostels.
I woke up early the next morning because I thought I was going to have to catch an 8am train to get to Lisbon the following day.
I arrived at the train station and reserved a ticket for 8:25am to Madrid and then an over night ticket from Madrid to Lisbon (the only way to get to Lisbon from where I was). This meant I had an unexpected day trip to Madrid! I wanted to go to Madrid, but I couldn’t fit it into my schedule so this actually worked out perfectly.
I tried to sleep on the train from Barcelona to Madrid with a little bit of success and arrived in Madrid around 10:30am.
I found a coffee shop where I had a cappuccino and some donuts before getting on the metro into the city. Then I found a Starbucks because I wanted to use the wifi to work on my blog.
A couple of hours later I left the Starbucks to get to the walking tour of the city. It was really hot outside and I was carrying my backpack, but at this point it didn’t really phase me. My body built up a tolerance after all of the walking I’ve done.
The walking tour was interesting as usual. I learned a lot about the history of Madrid. The world’s oldest bar is in Madrid.
The Moors had a significant influence on Madrid back in history. They were also very tolerant of different religions whether it be Christianity, Judaism, or Islam. To embrace this part of their heritage there is an interesting juxtaposition of all three of the religions in a certain part of the city. There is a church (Christianity), a Moorish wall (Islam), and a Jewish star (Judaism) all right next to each other.
Madrid also copied the Versailles Palace… but they made theirs bigger. It doesn’t have the awesome gardens that Versailles does though.
Our tour guide mentioned that there hardly any Taco Bells in Europe and that this was one of the first in all of Europe.
After I got some food, I headed to the train station where I waited for the train to arrive. This was my first overnight train and as soon as I got on board I laughed a little bit at how small everything was. I could barely fit in the bed!
Then another guy walked in and he thought I was in his spot, so we both compared our tickets. Somehow there was a glitch with the computer and we ended up with the same exact ticket. I was in the bed first so he grabbed another bed for the time being.
The train employee came by to check our tickets and he was just as confused as us. He took both of our tickets and said he’d figure it out.
I got out my sleeping cocoon and spent the next 45 minutes trying to fall asleep as the train moved around on the tracks. Finally I get to sleep and then the train employee opens our door to let us know that he will figure it out later.
Then I spend another hour trying to get back to sleep. Finally I fall asleep.
I slept for about an hour and a half before we arrived at another train station and then WHAM! The door to our cabin slams open. 5 or 6 Spanish guys were all talking extremely loud (I even had ear plugs in). They spent the next 15-20 minutes making way too much noise before finally quieting down so I could go back to sleep.
Next, I wake up to the train employee poking my arm to give me my ticket back.
Then I went back to sleep and woke up to one of the Spanish guys telling me that we are have arrived!